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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Us 16, California 11, Boehner 11, South Carolina 8, Karen 6, Kentucky 6, Stephen Colbert 5, Karen Finney 5, Joe Biden 5, Ashley Judd 5, America 4, Washington 4, Mcconnell 4, John Boehner 3, Obama 3, Nbc 3, Clinton 3, Peterson 3, Colbert 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    December 7, 2012
    1:00 - 1:59pm PST  

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just shot bin laden, another barks get back to work. it's been called a post political war film as it expresses no pro, or constance on war. i think oscar just might agree. that does it for the cycle. it's yours. it's friday, december 7th, and the republican war of opposition is beginning to crumble. better than expected job numbers. >> this isn't a progress report because there's no progress to report. >> brings more obstruction from speaker boehner. >> the white house has wasted another week. washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. >> and a dodge on jobs. >> why take such a risk when the jobs number is improving? >> well, because the risk the president wants us to take, increasing tax rates, will hit many small businesses. >> this is a moment of truth.
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the clock is ticking. christmas is coming. the goose is getting fat. >> plus, go on. >> south carolina senator jim demint is dequitting. >> run stephen, run. >> you want somebody young, conservative, from south carolina. maybe who has super pac pointing -- wait a second. ♪ >> thank goodness it's friday and it's a busy one at that. we have breaking news. within the last hour, the supreme court has announced that it will for the first time take up appeals on same-sex marriage. hearing cases on the defense of marriage act and california's proposition 8. much more on that in a moment, and the busy week ends with some
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good news for america's workers and the president. a little christmas cheer some early. the u.s. economy generating a stronger than expected 146,000 new jobs in november helping trim the jobless rate to 7.7%. a four-year low. happy holidays, right? not if you're john boehner. >> this isn't a progress report because there is no progress to report. the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow walk our economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff. >> yes, indeed, it's like a visit from the ghost of christmas past, casual friday edition. another positive month of jobs numbers, another glum assessment by bah humbug boehner. he couldn't even be bothered to put on a holiday tie to take up the case of mr. scrooge and the top 2%. as nancy pelosi asked, why, oh, why is congress on another recess when they could be
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extending tax breaks for the middle class just in time for christmas? >> this is a moment of truth, the clock is ticking, christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, why are you not bringing this to the floor? is this a forever, forever protection of the wealthiest people in our country at the expense of the middle class? >> yes, that just about sums it all up. did we mention bain's congress has been in session all of one day this week, back on tuesday. six-day weekend. nice work if you can get it. if you listen closely to boehner and pelosi, you can perhaps hear the beginning notes of a harmonious christmas carol starting to take shape. >> it's not about the rate. it's about the money. >> there are a lot of things that are possible to put the revenue that the president seeks on the table. >> i know. it doesn't sound like much, but, remember, this is congress. and listen to the president as he lit the national christmas tree last night. there is still reason for hope
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and cheer. >> the tree has one message, it's christmastime, not disaster time. >> god bless us, everyone, we are going to need it. let's get right to our panel now. in miami democratic strategist julian epstein, former counsel for the house judiciary committee. and in philadelphia lehigh university professor james peterson. julian, i want to get to the fiscal cliff in a moment, but you were the chief counsel for the democrats when they passed doma into law in 1996. i need to get your immediate reaction to the supreme court news this afternoon. >> well, i think it's very good for the advocates of marriage equality that the court took both of these issues up. the first issue is this question of the defense of marriage act. it was passed really in the middle of the night in 1996 and signed very reluctant lie by president clinton and e sin essentially says one state does not have to recognize the marriage equality rights another
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state may give. if you are married legally in the state of massachusetts and you happen to reside -- this is as a gay couple -- and you happen to reside in the state of california, the state of california does not need to recognize your massachusetts marriage, and as a result there are over 1,000 benefits that can be denied to a legally married gay couple if they happen to be living in a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage. my guess is the supreme court will declare that unconstitutional because there is a long tradition under the privileges and immunities clause of the constitution that says one state recognizes the contract rights that are given in another state. so i think that doma law goes by the wayside. the second question is an equal protection question and goes specifically at the california referendum which -- >> the proposition 8. >> the proposition, proposition 8, which makes it illegal under california law to have gay marriage. they will look at that under the equal protection clause. i think it's a little bit
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hazardous to anticipate where the court will go on that question, and i would be reluctant to do that, but that's kind of an equal protection question. the request he is will the court be ahead of where the public is or behind the public. this is a question that eventually sooner or later, probably sooner, the public will come around to recognize and already is showing by the polls that marriage equality should be considered a fundamental constitutional right. >> professor peterson, to julian's point, despite its rulings on the president's health care law, on immigration, this court maintains a conservative tilt. is this necessarily good news for supporters of same-sex marriage or do you think it will prove bad news? >> i think they're a little torn here because for supporters of marriage equality, it's always exciting for the court of the nation to consider these issues, but the challenge here is maybe the timing is a little off because, remember, part of the reason why some of us are excited about the fact that the president has been re-elected is because this court will undergo
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some changes over the next several years somewhere between one to three justices, and president obama will be able to appoint those justices. there's got to be some folk in the marriage equality activist community who would rather see this taken up a little bit later, but it's still good that it is. >> because at the moment, professor peterson, we're talking about them taking it up in march, aren't we? >> that's probably too soon, but there are some issues of import that they will be watching closely. remember, two federal judges have already sort of ruled against the ban prop 8 in california. it will be interesting to see if the supreme court follows those federal judges or if it will politicize this a little more and support prop 8. very, very interesting to see important social issues on the table for the supreme court but i think the timing makes us a little conflicted about it. >> allian, ev . >> julian, speaker boehner has
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the president is marching the nation to a cataclysmic fiscal cliff. >> this ised kind of job owning you expect and i think all speaker boehner is looking to get a little bit of leverage because he really doesn't have any leverage. consider this political situation that boehner finds himself in, not just the frat tra side and the division, but remember this president won an election on the question of tax fairness. secondly, the economy is coming back, coming back strong as we saw from the jobs report. when i came into office, losing 800,000, we're not gaining 200,000. he's winning the question on the economic stewardship or he has won the question. all of the polls are showing that the public is in support of the president on this, and at the end of the day in the 11th hour the reality here is that if boehner continues to take an obstructionist position, taxes will go up on everybody, not just the 2%, and obama will win that argument and boehner knows that. so this is a kabuki dance.
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we know how this is going to end. republicans will have to concede a deal largely on obama's terms and the question is when. >> professor peterson, one is almost tempted to feel sorry for speaker boehner. his party lost the presidential election, they failed to swin the senate, the jobs numbers continue to improve, the president is adamant he's not going to concede over raising taxes. is speaker boehner now on the wrong side of history? >> well, his entire party on a lot of issues is on the wrong side of history. we don't feel sorry for him because we're making progress economically as a nation. that's very, very important. and the issues that we are going to address with this sort of fiscal cliff, fiscal slope, hill, wharf you want to call it are going to be very, very important issues. i want to clear one things up. the republicans wants to talk about deductions all the time. one of the key distinctions between letting the taxes go up a little bit on the 2% versus trying to find this money through deductions, is the fact when we're talking about capping deductions, that's something that's going to impact middle class families and middle class
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earners the most. and so it really is -- i don't want to make this about class warfare. it's really about what is fiscally smart for the economy. most economists are telling us this tax increase will not have very much impact in terms of growth. if you talk about essentially raising taxes on 98% of americans either through some kind of crazy deduction plan or just letting the bush tax cuts go, that can have a very, very severe effect on the economy. >> as usual dr. peterson makes a superb point. president clinton used to say if you want to live like a republican, vote for a democrat because they will give you better economics. and the fact of the matter here is if you poll economists, they will tell you that raising the rates on this top 2% has virtually no impact but when you begin to go after the mortgage deduction, when you begin to go after chair itses, that's when you have some economic chill you bring into the economy. so isn't it strange that the republicans and conservatives have said that obama doesn't understand the impact of fax policy on the economy whereas
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almost all economists are saying the obama approach is far superior to that that the republicans offer. >> thank you both for joining us on this friday afternoon. next, if reagan could, why not colbert. why south carolina should seriously consider it. stay with us. >> new york post, are we ready for senator colbert? are we ready? sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! almost all economists are saying >> new york post, are we ready switching to geico sure are happy.
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the decision on who will replace demint falls to south
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carolina governor and friend of the show nikki haley. but who will she pick? let's see, you want somebody young, somebody conservative, somebody from south carolina, maybe somebody who had a super pac. wait a second. >> yes, senator stephen colbert. and it makes perfect sense now that jim demint is leaving. so why not fill the vacancy for south carolina's funniest favorite son? now, you may scoff at the very idea, but so did some at the idea of an idea of senator al franken and california congressman sonny bono and i take it you remember our 40th president, ronnie wilson reagan. it's not that farfetched. mr. colbert's only real trouble, he'd have to stand to the right of jim demint. joining us now is ari melber, a correspondent for "the nation" and an msnbc contributor and professor michael eric dyson from georgetown university and an msnbc political analyst.
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ari, if i can begin with you. why not replace one comic actor with another. >> what i love what stephen colbert does, he reminds us of the many absurdityiies we matakr granted. >> well, colbert brings star power. a go p lobbyist telling roll call that demiemint will have t star power of ben affleck. is that right. is he now the ben affleck of the tea party? another insider said demint is the ceo of conservatism. >> it's hollywood for ugly people in washington. that's the old saying. >> it is. >> i think there is sort of -- it's sort of insane to me the way we've been talking about jim demint leaving the senate. for one thing this idea of him as a star. he's not a star legislator.
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he didn't pass any bills. >> i believe he's 0 for 35. >> exactly. so he may be a star of other things and there are people who use the senate as a platform to do sort of broader advocacy rather than legislation, but he's not a star there. he doesn't have a legislative record there. it makes perfect sense to me he would go elsewhere. >> professor dyson, what do you think? jur a man of letters, an academic. you take the political process very seriously. would somebody like stephen colbert standing for the senate make a mockery of the political system? >> well, if he could make a mockery ever his fellow conservatives that he plays on television, that would be good enough for me. that would be an enhancement to democracy. the difference between say be a al franken or a ronald reagan is that their political bona fides were born on the sleeve. we knew what they were about and what they stood for and what they believed. stephen colbert plays a figure
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that lampoons and mocks the, if you will, excesses of the republicans and the conservatives. so as a result of that, if he were to take that side show to the senate and was able to draw to them attention about all of the crazy stuff that they've been doing, that would serve democracy in a fundamental way. >> professor dyson, when you describe stephen colbert, he sounds very similar to jim demint. >> i demint to say that. the point is that, yeah, there is unintended parity with mr. demibt perhaps and there's intentional parity with mr. colbert. >> absolutely. thank you for the clarification, sir. ari, when asked why he wants to run a think tank, this is what jim demint told a "washington post" reporter. >> i'm a policy nerd. when you think of jim demint, do you think of policy nerd? what's nerdiest about him? women's rights, gay rights, union rights? >> i don't think him as a policy nerd and i don't think he was a policy leader. i do think to give him his due
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analytically, he was politically important, and did he something that both parties need because of gerrymandering and because of the partisanship in the system, he helped drive competitive primaries. at this point in our history we have high participation but low democracy because we have such undemocratic and uncompetitive general elections, and we have a lot of other problems in the system. he's a part of most of those problems. he infamously promised to put a hold, that is to threaten to filibuster, every piece of legislation in the senate which goes back to the problem of him not being a serious or a leader in that pbody. but the good part of the tea party, whatever you think of their values, was that we had more competitive races than usual, and in some cases we had ideas tested and exposed and i think that's good for the process. in that regard i give him more credit than other establishment lead whose would never allow democracy in a primary.
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>> would you give him credit for promoting christine o'donnell, todd akin and other individuals? >> no, that's would have to be demerits. there's no gold star, but a swift kick in the pants so to speak. i think mr. melber's point is exactly right. that unintended consequences, nevertheless can have positive results. the reality is that if he is, indeed, forged that new competitive spirit legislatively speaking where people are competing over a particular spot in the senate or in congress because of ideas and that those ideas mean something to actually existing people, then that is for -- all for the good. the reality, however, is that mr. demint did not promote ideas or people who were edifying in the broad spectrum of ideas for american society. i think by exposing some of the bitter contradictions that led to some of the political from
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fracases we saw in america. i wouldn't hail him for his choices. i would hail him for his ability to put a spotlight on some of the contradictions and spot lights. >> i think we should be thankful for when he said when he said being less dependent on government makes you more dependent on god. gentlemen, thank you. stay with us. much more ahead. >> i'm protesting because my mom for the first time got an artificial tree. we told her you have to go live. now she's putting it in a box and whipping it out every year. ♪ if it wasn't for you ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off storewide, now through sunday. let's see if we can get the same item at walmart for less? okay. fijit friends. fifteen bucks on rollback.
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with his wife, danielle, almost every weekend. derrell hasn't been able to visit his mom back east in a long time. [ shirley ] things are sometimes a little tight around the house. i wasn't able to go to the wedding. [ emily jo ] since derrell couldn't get home, we decided to bring home to him and then just gave him a little bit of help finding his way. ♪ [ laughs ] [ applause ] i love you. i love you, too. now more on a big day at the supreme court. announcing this afternoon that it will take its first serious look at the issue of same-sex marriage. nbc's pete williams joins us live at the supreme court. pete, is this not a historic moment in the process of
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recognition for same-sex marriage? >> an important step in the process, whether it will lead toward recognition or not, we don't know, of course. that's the big question that one of these cases raises. the surprising thing here, martin, is that the court took both these cases. tft widely expected they would hear the appeal to the federal defense of marriage act because the supreme court feels its duty to step in whenever the lower court has said an act of congress is unconstitutional. the defense of marriage act passed in 1996 signed by president clinton says that in those states where people are legally married, same-sex couples are legally married, the federal government won't recognize their benefits. the challengers argue that that is unconstitutional discrimination. we assume the court would take up that case. the surprise here today is that the justices really went the whole way and took up the other big question here, which is a challenge to california's proposition 8. remember the history. in 2008 the state supreme court ruled that same-sex couples could get married. then the voters passed prop 8
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that stopped those marriages. they have been on hold while this case is going through the lower courts. what the supreme court is going to review is a court of appeals decision that is very narrowly crafted that's sort of good for california only that said you can't give the right and then take it away. california is the only state that has done that. but here is the thing. the court could either issue very narrowly and say, yeah, we agree with that decision or we don't, or they could go the whole way and get to the main question here, which is can any state say that it's unconstitutional or against the law for same-sex couples to get married. the case as it comes here doesn't ask the justices to decide that whole question, but once the case gets here, who knows where it could go. >> absolutely. >> yes, i agree, it's certainly historical because the supreme court has never fully addressed the question of same-sex marriage. >> and do you think, pete, that this was almost inevitable given the number of states, i believe four, that voted for same-sex marriage last month?
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>> reporter: incompetent evidentabeviden -- inevitable some day. it's risky because you just assume there are four votes to say yes, the states have to allow same-sex marriage, four votes to say no and it leaves it up to justice anthony kennedy. when the court grants a case like this, all we get is a bare statement saying they're going to take the case. we don't know what the vote is. it takes only four just tuss to grant a case but it takes five votes to win. we don't know. which were the four who said we should take this and, you know, how did they think justice kennedy would vote? that's what we'll find out in june. >> june, right. >> reporter: when they decide it, right. >> nbc justice correspondent pete williams. thanks so much, pete. >> reporter: you bet. >> stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. [ telephones ringing ] at chevy's year-end event, we have 11 vehicles
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from the war on christmas to passing the peace pipe and, oh, yes, something about driving off a dlif. here are today's "top lines." the week in review. >> merry christmas, everybody. >> this isn't a progress report. there is no progress. ♪ you know dasher and dancer >> republicans acknowledging the need for additional revenue. ♪ rudolph the red nose reindeer ♪ >> we have to break that habit. >> just don't sit around and think. >> magic beans and fairy dust. >> we have to eat our spinach. >> obama went to twitter to encourage low information voters. >> what goes beyond social i remember is communism. >> he thinks somebody made him king. >> say thing likes scrooge and coal. >> merry christmas everybody. >> i don't want to do this. >> you guys look so angry about this war on christmas. >> deadly serious. >> he's gotten a little predictable. >> that baby is wrapped in an electric blanket. >> enough of the talk, let's
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gets on with lighting the free. >> the war on fun. abortion and the gay rights agenda. >> i absolutely agree 100%. >> yeah! >> victoria secret angels. >> we have the victoria secret catalog. we said can any of these people talk. >> i along came sean penn. >> assuring the house runs efficiently, the housewife. >> i will not stand by and watch the people of south carolina ignored. >> it's going to be a great year. >> i'm not going to sit here and say i should be south carolina's next senator. >> a more powerful position than a single united states senator. >> not when so many other people are saying it for me. >> 7.7%, the lowest level since december 2008. >> that's curious. >> for the republican party if it's not something they personally need, it's an entitlement. >> if you have cancer and you don't have health insurance, that's hurricane sandy. >> can you name me one person
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that saved their lives by a handgun? >> millions. >> women are victims of violence all the time. they can make better decisions. >> learn to protect themselves. >> or make better decisions. >> let's get right to our panel now pop toure is a colleague of mine and a host of "the cycle." karen finney and michelle cottle. karen, if i might begin to you, let's start with the breaking news. i want to start with your reaction to news this hour the supreme court will rule on california's gay marriage ban and the defense of marriage act. should same-sex marriage advocates, karen, be nervous or pleased about this? >> i hope that history will show they should be pleased and that this will be the day that, you know, this process where in the same way that loving v. virginia opened up rights for people like my parents to get married, this will be the beginning of the decision where we recognize that same-sex couples should enjoy
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the same rights and benefits of marriage. i hope it is the start of what is the american journey for expanding rights of every american. >> given the current composition of the court, i am nervous. i do not yet share karen's optimism. i'm concerned the court will move to take away the rights of gay people to get married and let states block it where they want to. i think we would need to focus on two people. where does justice kennedy go? and he's being interested in individual liberty. perhaps he will vote with the liberals. and i also look optimistically at justice roberts who in the aca decision shows us he cares about the court's legacy. he doesn't want to be part of a decision that later people look book on and say he was part of taking away people's liberty. right now i am not optimistic about what this court will do. >> we've had one optimistic, one pessimistic. michelle, don't i dare sit on the fence. >> no, no. i'm off the fence.
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okay. i will say i agree that the court's composition should make some people nervous but i think the timing, they just had gay marriage wins at the ballot box and there has been a sea change among the electorate on this issue and it would be a little bit troublesome for the court to then at this point step in and say, no, no, we know the country is moving in this direction but we're going to stop you. >> indeed, michelle, you have actually written yourself that the president's base in a second term wants the repeal of the defense of marriage act. you've written that yourself. >> they think it's time, and they think that they've had enough wins and the kind of wind is at their back that such is a good time to move forward on this. >> karen, if we can spich topics, this week dana perino told a fox news panel that women should, and i'm quoting her, make better choices to avoid being victims of domestic v violen violence. on thursday with the same panel she limited her discussion to just talking about domestic
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violence. what did you think when you heard those comments? >> well, a couple thoughts. obviously, i do not in any way shape, or form blame women, but the piece that i thought was interesting was that the panel itself kind of moved on from what was i think an important point she was making and then i think actually i heard s.e. make some of the same points earlier this week on "the cycle." we went right to the gun control issue and i think there are very serious issues about women and domestic violence. you have the violence against women act, reauthorization sitting right now in congress recognizing this is a serious issue. i would have a slightly different take on what she was saying, and that is i would like to see us find more ways to empower young women. we know domestic violence among young women is going up, to make better choices. to recognize bad patterns of behavior from the men they're involved with or the women they're involved with frankly because this isn't just a heterosexual problem. >> of course. >> to be able to make better decisions and say this behavior is dangerous and i need to love
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myself enough to walk away from this. i would like to see us be able to empower women to make those kinds of choices. >> toure, there's a law waiting, as karen mentions, called the violence against women act. for decades it's been not a controversial issue. it's passed, the senate passed it again, but republicans in the house refuse to pass it. now, in the light of what karen just said and what's happened this week, can you explain why republicans would oppose the passage? >> well, i mean, first of all, i'm glad to see unlike yourself, karen finney is out watching msnbc's "the cycle" which airs at 3:00 every day on this network. >> your contribution has now ended. sorry, i warned you before so that's it. you're going to come here and self-promote, it's finished, michelle, let me put the question to you, how do republicans in the house justify in a week like this not passing the violence against women act? >> you know, there are always ways that they can wiggle out of this thing. there are aspects of it they
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don't like. they don't like it applying to this group or that group or same-sex couples or just all kinds of ways they can say we're not really against violence against women but in this particular case it's the details they don't like. that's how they justify it but i think as a pr matter it's tougher. >> okay. i'm going to allow you to come in again toure, but if you could speak about "the cycle" you will be removed. >> about what? >> this fox segment we mentioned earlier discussed the issue of guns. the majority seems to think, yes, we need more guns, but aren't we seeing women and minorities paying the price for gun culture? >> yes, absolutely. the gun control discussion argument meme in america has completely defeated. so suggest we need to ban handguns or move away from the massive apts of guns we have in this country is to sound like a loon, a crazy person, but surely more guns is not the answer in the current place where we are, where schools, theaters, family, homes get shot up all the time.
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we cannot continue to live in this situation, and, you know, without violating your rules, i had to live through somebody saying that it was not the gun that hurt jovan belcher's girlfriend but it was domestic violence. guns escalate anger and escalate situations. they are the most efficient killing machines we have. yes, there are other things that we use to kill, but bob costas and for once jason whitlock was absolutely right to say allowing this gun culture is problematic for all of us. when you have a gun, you are more likely to get shot. you're not more likely to shoot an intruder. and how many of these instances do we have to live through before we say enough. i'm going to let you get in, karen, but every time we have this big sort of thing happen like aurora or jovan belcher, whatever. >> virginia tech. >> we could go on and on. we say now is not the time. that is the gun rights group saying let's tamp this down because this is our worst moment, this is our worst fear of the irresponsible gun owner
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using it in the wrong way. that is exactly the time to say we must do something. >> okay. karen? >> i would just say it is, and that is true, but let's not disconnect that from this issue of domestic violence and assault on women and the republicans in congress who essentially are sending a message that says it's okay to beat up certain kinds of women. native american women, women who are in this country illegally. they don't like some of the particulars in this legislation that addresses real problems. toure, as i have heard you talk about this earlier this week, i agree with the gun control piece, but i think we do a disservice to our culture and our society when we don't see that all of this is connected. >> michelle, you have the last word. >> well, i think whatever people are talking about with the gun culture here, you're going to have a hard sell getting anybody to talk about this in the political sphere. you can't get democratic politicians out there during the campaign. nobody was rushing to talk about this. it is still fairly toxic. >> it is tragically so. toure, karen finney, and
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michelle cottle, thank you all so much. next, ashley judd versus mitch mcconnell. a man who filibusters himself. stay with us. >> why does he not have any clothes on and what is he doing? >> yeah. then he sits on the budget committee, so what is john thune's plan to keep us from going over the fiscal cliff? toure, karen finney, and committee, so what is john toure, karen finney, and committee, so what is john you can prevent gas with beano meltaways,
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manufactumovie star taking his job, just yesterday he found himself in the awkward position of having to filibuster his own bill which was designed to avoid the fiscal cliff panic that we're going through right now. congressman john yarmouth is a democrat from kentucky. ashley judd hails from your home state, though she now lives in tennessee and appeared with the tennessee delegation at the democratic convention last summer. how serious do you think she is? you know her. i believe you have spoken to her. how serious is she against running against mitch mcconnell? >> i think she's serious about getting involved in government and playing a different kind of role in public affairs. she's always been a very outspoken activist and very knowledgeable public policy person. so she's considered a run. we know that. we don't know -- it might be against mcconnell. it might be against rand paul in 2016. it could be for governor of tennessee, but it sounds to me
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like she's certainly interested in playing a different role. >> and -- >> one that would seek office. >> and she's certainly got mcconnell's attention. consider this statement from ses is he benton, his campaign manager. i'm quoting. it's going to sting. we're doing to make sure that you don't come out with your nose clean. we're going to drive your negatives up and very aggressively and publicly litigate your record before the citizens of kentucky. benton, who ran ron paul's presidential campaign, says this was not directed specifically at ashley judd. is there benton preparing for a political campaign for a personal assassination. >> this is the way mcconnell has always run his campaigns. it's never to talk about what he's done for kentucky and what his vision for the future of kentucky is. it's always about making sure that whoever is running against him is unacceptable and spending whatever it takes to do that. so, you know, i think it would be interesting. ashley judd is a very, very popular figure, and you take on
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somebody with that -- who is that well-known and who is that popular, you go negative on them at your own peril. people don't like that. if they have a very good feeling about the candidate. so, you know, we fully expect he would run that kind of campaign against any opponent, but against ashley judd, i think that's problematic for mcconnell. >> i think it is. let me ask you about senator mcconnell's effort to filibuster his own idea on avoiding future fights over the fiscal cliff. how can this man propose a solution to a serious problem only to turn around and oppose it just because the white house embraced it? >> well, of course, we know that it really wasn't a serious effort to resolve a problem. we know it was just a gimmick to score a political point and that's senator mcconnell's modus operandi. that's what he does. you know, he should be embarrassed. i think any scrupulous politician would be embarrassed by what happened. he probably isn't, but it was a pretty comical episode, i would say that.
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>> congressman john yarmuth from kentucky. thank you, sir. >> thank you, martin. >> next, vice president joe biden breaks bread with middle class americans. has the gop completely lost the battle for america's heart? stay with us. thank you, sir. initiated. neural speeds increasing to 4g lte. thank you, sir. predictive intelligence with google now complete. introducing droid dna by htc. it's not an upgrade to your phone. it's an upgrade to yourself. now's a good time to think about your options. are you looking for a plan that really meets your needs? and your budget? as you probably know, medicare only covers about 80%
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vice president joe biden took a group of middle class americans to lunch at a diner outside washington today as part of the effort by the white house to highlight the importance of cutting their taxes while raising those on the top 2%. >> of this ain't rocket science. it would take 15 minutes from the time the decision was made by the speaker of the house to have pass and make permanent middle class tax cut. the president would probably have me sprint up to the hill to bring the bill down for him to sign. >> nbc's mike viqueira is live at the white house. i believe mike could beat joe
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biden in a race. while the vice president is talking to real people about the real issues they face, house speaker john boehner once again slammed the president today claiming he's slow walking these negotiations. is there more going on behind the scenes than we're being led to believe? >> reporter: martin, i'm going to read a few tea leaves for you here. i'm going to go way out on a limb. the issue is that 35% where that top rate is now, is it going to go back to 39.6% where it was in the clinton administration. the president insists it must go up. how much? that's the question. whispering around washington for weeks has been there could be a promise around 37%. listen to what happened today, martin. speaker boehner was asked directly whether 37% could be the compromise. he hedged. he said there are a lot of things that are possible, it's not possible if the president has this my way or the highway approach but he said a lot of things are possible. joe biden at that diner in arlington asked the same question, theoretically we can
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negotiate how far up says joe biden. the door is open. so the question is john boehner puts a bill on the floor that raises taxes on the wealthy, even if just half as much as the president initially insisted on. is he going to get enough republican votes to pass that? no way in the world. there could be a revolt within the republican party. what do they need to pass that? democratic votes. who was in the west wing this afternoon? >> nancy pelosi. >> we're reading tea leaves but we're laking at something that could be a nascent development and i'm speculating a little bit. >> go a bit further. are you thinking around 37% for the top rate? >> reporter: 37% is the number that keeps coming up. the point is that it could be -- that could be the wiggle room there between that top rate -- remember, 39.6% was the rate during the clinton administration. there's also the question of limit of $250,000 by everybody above that as the president has
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said ad infinitum during the campaign and above that, those are the people whose taxes will go up. there could be wriggle room there. the question as the white house has been at pains to point out time and time again, can you raised requisite amount of revenue. it becomes how much revenue will you raise these other means. closing the loopholes, that's where the democrats come in, very delicate balancing act. >> what are we looking at in ternls terms of a time table. i fully expect you're attempting to speculate, but if you are, do you think it gets done before christmas? >> reporter: i don't know. martin, i'm still one of those having covered the house of representatives for 11 years that says that the speaker puts that bill on the floor that raises that top end rate by even incrementally, it's going to be very difficult for him. when it happens, i don't know. he might have to wait until after the 1st of the year, until after we go over the cliff. it's hard to say, martin. some very smart people i know, former staffers, tax lobbyists
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have said somewhere around december 15th is when it starts to get serious, their view. that's the best we've got at this point. >> i tell what you, mike, that's good enough for me. mike viqueira, thank you so much. thank you. we'll be right back. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. you won't take our future. aids affects us all. even babies. chevron is working to stop mother-to-child transmission. our employees and their families are part of the fight. and we're winning. at chevron nigeria, we haven't had a reported case in 12 years. aids is strong. aids is strong. but we are stronger. and aids... ♪
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the male leaders meet with me because i am the secretary of state of the united states overlooking the fact that i also happen to be a woman. >> whatever your political persuasion, whichever country you come from, it's been impossible not to be impressed by the secretary of state and her leadership on behalf of this nation has been a beacon of light in many, many countries around the world wrf women are demeaned and undermined, and that includes this one. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> if we are going to pay for your contrasep at thises and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and i'll tell you what it is. we want you to post the videos online so we can all watch. >> back in my days they used bayer aspirin for contraception. the gals put it when their knees and it wasn't that costly.